Garin: My conscience is clear

By Analou De Vera

Former Health Secretary Janette Garin said that her "conscience is clear" with regards to the alleged anomalous barangay health stations project of the Department of Health (DOH) which was under her term.

Health secretary Janette Garin  gives an update on Zika virus during a press con after the launch of Bayani ng Kalusugan Awards at the Century Park Hotel in Malate, Manila on Tuesday. (JOHN JEROME GANZON) Health secretary Janette Garin (JOHN JEROME GANZON)

"I'm confident I will be vindicated at the end because my conscience is clear," said Garin in a text message sent to the Manila Bulletin.

Garin said that the controversial project "was conceptualized and planned to answer the gap considering that there are only 17,000 BHS (barangay health stations) out of 42,000 barangays."

"What happened for the past two years that I have been out of DOH is a matter my successor (former health secretary Paulyn Jean Ubial) should answer," said Garin.

"Personnel was provided by funds downloaded to regions for nurses and public health assistants. If the contractor is at fault, contract should be rescinded and look at their bond," she further stated.

Garin said that Health Secretary Francisco Duque III should stop blaming the previous administration instead lead "an already demoralized DOH."

"We need doers rather than talkers," she stated.

The former health chief said that she is ready if a case will be filed against her. "On my part, I strongly deny any corruption and Duque can file cases against me," she said.

Duque on Monday, said that he has sought the help of the Office of the Ombudsman to conduct a fact-finding investigation regarding the alleged irregularities on the BHS project.

He said that they will "ensure full cooperation and transparency of the DOH in the ongoing investigations, as well as appropriate legal actions against erring officials."